DC Council candidate Nate Fleming talks about carjacking, boy’s arrest and rising youth crime

DC police have arrested a 17-year-old boy in connection with the mid-January armed carjacking of a DC Council candidate.

DC police have arrested a 17-year-old boy in connection with the mid-January armed carjacking of a DC Council candidate.

Nate Fleming, a candidate for city council and the district’s former ghost congressman, said four masked individuals presented themselves to him at a gas station at the corner of Nannie Helen Burroughs and Minnesota avenues in northeast DC on January 29. 15.

Full interview: OMCP’s Joshua Barlow talks with Nate Fleming about his carjacking experience. (Duration 7h30)

Two of the four individuals jumped out of a van and one of them pointed a gun at Fleming as he demanded Fleming’s keys. After handing them over, the only suspect drove off in Fleming’s vehicle and the others left in the van. Footage of the carjacking was captured by the gas station’s security camera and posted online:

A 17-year-old boy from District Heights, Maryland was arrested Friday and charged with carrying a weapon without a license, unauthorized use of a vehicle and possession of an unregistered firearm. He was later charged with theft after a subsequent investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Carjacking Task Force.

In an interview with the OMCP after the arrest, Fleming said the increase in carjackings — and youth crime in the district — is partly the result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In 2020, there was a 153% increase in carjackings compared to the previous year. And then, in 2021, there was an 18% increase from that. So I would have to attribute it, to some extent, to the pandemic,” Fleming said.

“Two-thirds of these crimes are committed by minors… I think it speaks to the disengagement of many young people, given the emergency and the pandemic, among a host of other factors.

“Young people are not engaged all day. Young people are not getting economic opportunities,” Fleming said.

“I think the combination of those two factors and the lack of engagement with caring adults and productive things, that disconnect and just a general lack of economic opportunities, especially for young people, and those of socioeconomic status lower as a result of the pandemic have led to the rise of carjackings.

Fleming, who grew up just a few blocks from where his carjacking happened, said many of the things he enjoyed growing up just aren’t available to young people today. today.

“I have always participated in high quality after school programs that brought caring adults into our lives. We need to make sure we put in place the resources and infrastructure to ensure that every young person in this city has access to high-quality after-school opportunities of their choice, regardless of their ability to pay,” he said. .

“I participated in Boys and Girls Police Clubs growing up, playing lots of sports and participating in lots of fulfilling activities. We no longer have this program. It’s something I propose to bring back, as I think it’s key to improving community-police relations, especially among young people by having the Metropolitan Police Boys and Girls Clubs network.

Asked what he hopes for the 17-year-old boy arrested on Friday for the carjacking, Fleming said: ‘The judge is the person who has to make the decision on the fate of the young man and his background. I would like this young man to end up becoming a productive member of society. I think those are all our goals.

“In relation to the broader issue of sentencing of minors. I certainly hope to become a member of the DC Council, because it’s a decision that we have to make as a community. The mayor, the council, the attorney general, the residents of the community, we all need to be part of this discussion.

In a press release, DC police made no mention of others involved in Fleming’s carjacking, but said the matter was still under investigation.

Anyone with knowledge of this incident is asked to contact police at 202-727-9099, or text advice to 50411.

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